When Beverly Zuvers, grandmother of the three missing Skelton boys, spoke with Morenci Chief of Police Larry Weeks one day, they decided that something positive and fun was needed for the city.
In addition to the tragedy of the missing boys, community members have had to endure a father and son dying in a fire, suicides, a hunting accident, a home invasion with assault, a recent drowning...all in the span of a couple of years.
“The community, county and nearby areas have banded together to support the victims of these tragedies,” said Kathye Herrera, a close friend of the Zuvers family. “They have prayed, brought food, sent cards, brought groceries, sent flowers and visited.”
Now it’s time for all of those people to come together for a picnic at Wakefield Park, an event to be known as Celebrate Family Day. There’s no charge for the event, but everyone intending should bring their own lunch.
Herrera and Zuvers have been joined by Cyndee Sanders, Jason and Amy Wilson and Shirley Vanderpool to plan the event, Herrera said, and many hours have already gone into that endeavor.
“We are blessed with lots of great helpers,” she said.
People are donating money for the project and hoping to recoup the funds through a 50-50 drawing.
In addition to bringing a lunch and non-alcoholic beverage, guests should bring lawn chairs because table space will be limited at the park shelter. Sporting equipment for games is also welcomed.
Activities for children include a sawdust wading pool with prizes, a duck pond with prizes, animal balloons, face painting, a moonwalk inflatable, cookie decorating, crafts, sack races and bobbing for apples.
Young adults can participate corn hole tournaments, sand volleyball and baseball. Girls can have their hair done with beads, feathers, etc.
For adults, there will be corn hole, horseshoes, euchre, Bingo, softball and volleyball.
It’s also a day for visiting with friends and celebrating families.
The Michigan Masons’ free child identification program will be available for parents—the same program that visits the Town and Country Festival.
Fairfield Mason Lodge #125 will provide the free CHIP program that sends parents home with each child’s dental impression plus a CD containing a photo, video, digital fingerprints and vital information.
Michigan’s CHIP program is considered one of the most comprehensive programs of its kind by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Herrera describes the picnic event as “a thank you to all the wonderful people who have been there for these families” who have suffered tragedies in recent months.